Stock index futures pared early gains on Tuesday, pointing to a mixed open as lingering fears over Europe's debt crisis hit the region's stocks and eclipsed soothing comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

At 0935 GMT, futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.08 percent, Dow Jones futures were up 0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.06 percent.

Europe's benchmark FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index sank 1.4 percent, led lower by banking stocks such as UBS and BNP Paribas .

Bernanke said the U.S. economy appeared to have enough momentum to avoid a double-dip recession, citing strengthening consumer and business spending.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris and Dominic Lau in London)